The BWI Archives

1891 ~ School Attendance


Ruislip Church of England School

School Attednance

- 1891 -

From 1885 there had been repeated attempts to increase regular school attendance, often involving financial incentives.  In the January Parish Magazine, the Vicar again outlined the Managers' scheme for rewarding good levels of pupil attendance.  He was not above a little bribery, identifying that other forms of support provided by the church through the coal, clothing and shoe clubs, and the various endowed charities, could not be accessed if families failed to ensure their children's regular school attendance!: 

January, 1891

from the Vicar’s letter :
… I desire to call your attention to a very important resolution passed by the School Managers at their last meeting.  The attendance of children is still far below what it ought to be, so the Managers, in the hope of increasing the attendance, have decided to give back a portion of the school pence every Monday to each child towards the fee for the coming week, provided that child has attended every time the School has been open in the previous week.  For example, a child who has returned to School after the holidays on Monday, January 5th, and paid its School fee for that week, and makes full attendances that week, will, on the following Monday morning, January 12th, when it pays its School fee for that week, receive back either one penny or half penny, according as its fee is twopence and upwards, or one penny.  There can be no doubt that much of the slackness in attendance is due to parents who often keep their children at thome for the most trifling and frivolous reasons, and often perhaps for no reason at all.  Let me ask those of you who are parents to remove this reproach, and to do what is only your simple bounden duty to your children, to see that they attend School regularly. In addition to the return of a portion of the pence, the Managers have also decided to give prizes to all children who make 170 attendances and upwards between January 1st and May 31st of the coming year.  Here, then, is encouragement for both parents and children – for parents, because they will pay less pence; for children, because a prize awaits them – but all depends upon great regularity in the children’s attendance.

The Clubs will be opened again on the first Monday in the year.  Surely this prolonged cold weather will have taught cottagers the great benefit of joining the various clubs.  I will add, that if there are still any parents who refuse to send their children to the Parish School, they need not expect to get benefit either in the shape of bonus from the clubs, or a share in the Parish Charities next Christmas.

Believe me,
Your faithful Friend and Vicar,
Thomas Marsh Everett.

Ruislip Vicarage,
December, 1890

In his February letter, the Vicar offered parents praise for their children's increase in regular attendance :

February, 1891

from the Vicar’s monthly letter:
… I am glad to tell you that the experiment of returning a portion of the School fees to those children who are regular at school, has so far proved a great success, not only in reducing cost of education to parents, but in raising very considerably the average attendance of the School.  I would only add that upwards of sixty children have received benefit from the experiment each week since it was started a month ago.



First uploaded: 28 April 2018